French Estate Meets Modern Comfort | Platinum Series by Mark Molthan

French Estate Meets Modern Comfort

Designer Ashley Astleford shares how she worked with Platinum Series to give a sprawling estate the perfect blend of modern luxury and timeless style.

There are many challenges to designing a home, but the most important of these begin with the homeowners’ vision. What are they passionate about? What is the cornerstone of their lifestyle? What makes them feel at home? In the case of one magnificent Platinum Series estate, the goal was to highlight the home’s grandeur while creating a comfortable, inviting retreat for a family with young children. Mark Molthan’s team at Platinum Series achieved this balance by drawing on several source of inspiration—from lush French chateaus; to clean, modern lines; to organic, time-worn textures.

Working alongside Mark Molthan and architect Robbie Fusch, designer Ashley Astelford forged a unique look for the home’s interior.  In part, the style was a response to the desire to make the estate’s formal areas kid-friendly without compromising on sophistication. Throughout the home, she used a gentle color pallet, warm textures, and timeless motifs to make this 25,000 square foot masterpiece an inviting gathering space for the homeowners’ friends and family. By carefully curating the elements of the room, Ashley imbued old world style with a modern eye for balance and simplicity.

Dining room opened by tall arched windows connected to foyer with custom design archways

The Dining Room

The primary goal for the room was to create a warm, comfortable space where guests of all ages could gather and celebrate. In addition to this, the homeowners planned on having large gatherings—so ample seating was a must!

This space is notable for its balance of clean, modern lines and intricate details. Ashley chose simple, Belgian-style chairs for seating around a custom walnut table. One of the highlights of the room is the rug. “We didn’t want to do a really traditional oushak rug so we made this really beautiful custom hair on hide rug with Interior resources here in Dallas,” explains Ashley. “The pewter tones and silver tones work beautifully with the venetian plaster on the walls.” Details like the table lamps and a patina mirror are just shy of rustic, maintaining the soft, subtle tones of the space.

Kitchen with stone topped island, hardwood floors and cream color cabinetry

The Kitchen

“A lot of the elements that we used in the kitchen were intended to hint at the old country and estate living in France but to have a lot of freshness to them,” shares Ashley. As in the dining room, her goal for the kitchen was to maintain a homey, family oriented feel. In this space, that feeling was maintained by balancing the high ceilings and exposed beams with softer, lighter elements. “The candelabras over the hood, soft blue piping around the cabinets, and the marble slab countertops and backsplash were very carefully selected,” Ashley says.

Adding to the challenges of the kitchen was the sheer size of the center island. To cover its width, the team had to book-match a slab of Calcutta bray marble. Ashely explains, “It is fairly rare to even find one as long as this island—nine feet long—so this is quite a design feat.”

Plush living room design with fireplace and wall of sliding doors that opens to patio

The Family Room

The focal point of the living room is a grand limestone fireplace. With its size and old-world look, the mantle could almost blend into a French estate of the 1600’s. However, its clean lines and light color are distinctly contemporary. Ashely is especially pleased with the exposed trusses suspended above the room. “They don’t have too heavy of a distressing on them that makes them look contrived,” she explains. “They have a very natural, clean but time-worn feel to them.”

Consistent with the lightness and openness of the home, the entire back wall of the family room is comprised of stylish accordion doors that open up to a swimming pool and courtyard. The courtyard is designed with elegance in mind as well as fun. “The awesome thing about this center fountain…is that the kids can actually go out and run right through it and have a little fun instead of it being too sophisticated and formal.”

Courtyard with fountain in center over tile flooring

About Ashley Astelford

Ashley Astleford’s passion for details and beautiful, functional interiors has fueled her talent for designing luxury homes for her clients. Licensed by the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners (TBAE) and a graduate of Texas Christian University, Ashley’s expertise comes highly recommended by industry professionals. Named to the D Home Best Designer’s List in 2012, she and her team enjoy creating relationships with associates and clients as they walk through the entire design process together. You can find out more about Ashley at

About Manson Court

This three acre gated estate built by Mark Molthan was designed by renowned architect Robbie Fusch and completed in August of 2011. The premiere location offers a private drive with gated entry, and an unprecedented location in the Strait Lane area of Preston Hollow. It boasts over 25,000 SF of living space with geothermal climate control, a 2,200 SF master suite, 8 deluxe bedroom suites with nanny and guest quarters, an indoor basketball court and garage with space to accommodate 14 automobiles.To learn more visit


  1. 4 Ways to Combine the Old with the Ultra-New | D Home says:
    January 27, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    […] living room seems entirely inspired by old, European style. However, by using a side table as a central coffee table, the designer has found a way to update […]


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